As my knee injury heals slowly, I decided to see how it would cope with some rough ground. It doesn't get much rougher than Chee dale, a very muddy, rocky, slippery dale underfoot, especially at this time of year. When we had the super-low temp's recently, it was THE place I wanted to go (but, of course, couldn't due to my injury). The cliffs here overhang and are almost ALWAYS running with water, so the most incredible icicles form in low temp's. I had to miss it this time though, and so this visit was tinged with sadness, as all the icicles had long gone. Still, as my second 'proper' walk, it felt good!
We parked at the usual place, Topley Pike, and set off down the track to the cottages in Chee dale.
This is the river, quite in spate still, after the rains and snow we've had.
After a steady walk along the banks of the river, we came to the first set of stepping stones, JUST passable today.
We saw some icicles on the opposite bank, but I knew the ones on the cliffs further on would be melted & gone by now.
Looking back along Chee dale. This was where I heard my first dipper calling (and identified it by sight).
Our friends, Dave & Moira, enjoying the walk.
On the second bridge, just before the next set of stepping stones.
Again, just visible above the water line. These stones have recently been topped with extra stone to increase height.
Yours truly, negotiating them.
These are the overhanging cliffs where the icicles form. As I expected, nothing there now.
Chee dale doesn't get much sunshine, due to it's orientation and high sides. It's VERY popular with climbers though, as these limestone faces are some of the most challenging in Derbyshire.
We disturbed a heron, which flew off overhead.
Some of the mossy faces looked lovely in the light.
Also, the lichen was some of the best I've seen.
Never far away today, the dipper.
We dropped into lower Chee dale, where the river was narrower and had more action in it.
Grass, almost imitating the water as it formed 'waves'.
After this, we headed back across the high ground to the car. Not a long walk (about 8 miles, 1200 feet of ascent), but more exercise for my knee, which held up very well.